Re: Document size?

Subject: Re: Document size?
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 1996 19:26:00 EST

At 05:59 PM 9/27/96 +0600, you wrote:
>Ok...ok....this is getting completely ridiculous now. I have a 66 page
>document, containing about 50 bitmap graphics (screen shots, etc all
>fairly small.), all 256 colors or less. A table of contents and a
>small (1.5 pages) index. No tables. Only two fonts (Arial and
>Palatino). The file is nearly 6 megs! Do the Word gurus on this list
>have any words of wisdom? I'll listen to about anything, but here's
>what I tried already:

>* Saving it with a different name.
>* Ensuring that all revision tracking is turned off.
>* Ensuring that Fast Save option is turned off.

>Would converting the bitmaps to wmf files be worth the effort? Black and

Neither would really save you anything. First, Word automatically converts
imported graphics to WMFs. Second, unless you changed your screen caps to
legitimate B&W, they'll still be colored, with all the storage that implies,
except the only visible colors would be black and white. Same storage cost.

The only way around this is to 1) change the caps to true B&W (ugly as sin,
normally), or 2) place the things by reference, rather than embedding them.
The only potential snag there is that if you move the graphics, the links
are snapped and you'll find yourself trying to put dozens of them back
together again. But if your graphics are safe and snug in one place, you
might try that.

>As a technical writer balancing multiple manuals, backups of
>documents, and related documents, I'm quickly running out of disk
>space. Do any known viruses bloat files like this?

No. Viruses don't work like that (although many of them do swell files
slightly, which is how most are caught). What DOES work like that is
graphics. Consider that bitmaps have to, well, _map bits_, or at least
pixels. That means that a whole-screen cap could have (on high res) 786,432
pixels, with each one given its own little definition of position and color.
At that size of graphic, even a B&W cap could be more than 1 meg. Your
mileage may vary with size.

Using a compressed graphics format like TIFF may not work very well, either,
since Word's import filter pretty much makes the same embedded graphic out
of PCX, TIFF, GIF and many other formats. The only real difference between
them is the quality of the imported image.

There is one thing you can do that works, but is highly labor-intensive.
First, grab the cap in something that has controls, like HiJaak. Save the
thing as true B&W. Run it through a converter that makes bitmaps into a
vector format. The image will undoubtedly suffer from the conversion, but
you can then pull it into a drawing package and repair the damage. The
resulting file, being a B&W vector file without fills or patterns, will
probably be much, much smaller than the bitmap. But as I say, it's an
investment of time.

>I know that Word keeps track of all the revisions (and there are many,
>of course) but can't someone figure out a way to throw all that
>unnecessary stuff out?

Not once it's there. You'll have to shut off revisions when you start the
project. However, the revisions don't swell the file extremely. You've
already taken most of the steps I'd recommend, but you might also look for
whether or not you're embedding TrueType fonts in the file. If you don't
need 'em, don't embed 'em.

>Thanks for any help (or sympathy) you might give.... I'm
>cross-posting this to the Tech Writer and Word lists. Sorry, but I'm

>Jane Bergen

I used to be desperate. Now I'm just resigned.

Tim Altom
Vice President, Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice) 317.899.5987 (fax)
FrameMaker support ForeHelp support
FrameMaker-to-HTML Conversions
HTML Help Consulting and Production

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